Needless to say, I agree with what Greenwald and Atrios and Digby are saying — given that when Republican members of congress want to put “holds” on things, Reid keeps respecting their hold, it’s preposterous for him to be refusing to do the same for Chris Dodd. The “hold” rule is a bad one — a terrible one, in fact — but like many elements of the congressional process, even bad rules can be used to good effect sometimes. Except not, it seems, in this instance.
The only word of caution I would add is that one shouldn’t exclusively heap opprobrium on Harry Reid. It’s clear that Reid wouldn’t be interfering with the traditional privileges of a Senator like this unless he felt sure of overwhelmingly support within the body. The Senate as a whole clearly wants this to pass, and that seems to include even some members who are going to nominally go against it. Some Democrats simply favor this sort of measures. And others are desperate to ensure that the 2008 campaign doesn’t touch on these issues and thus really, really, really want it to be taken “off the table.” It’s more or less the politics of 2002 all over again, a belief that public distemper with the economy will glide Democrats to victory if only those mean ‘ol Republicans don’t run on national security.